The Associated Press
Friday, June 22, 2007; 8:31 PM
TORONTO -- Former slugger Cecil Fielder said he won't try to renew his relationship with his son, Prince, until the Milwaukee Brewers star treats him with more respect. Prince Fielder was leading the National League with 26 homers entering play Friday but he hasn't spoken with his father in about three years.
The elder Fielder earned almost $47 million during his career, enough to take care of his family for several generations. But according to a 2004 story by The Detroit News, Cecil Fielder squandered that fortune through gambling and bad business decisions.
Things got so bad, according to The News, that Prince Fielder was served with legal papers for his father as he left the field after a 2002 game at Class-A Beloit. Cecil Fielder accuses his ex-wife of turning their son against him.
"I just don't think my son knows how to let it go," Cecil Fielder said Friday. "I don't think he's grown up yet. Until he can move on and talk to me like he's my son, we don't need to talk.
"He's going to talk to me like he's my son, not like I'm a man out on the street. I let him know, at the end of the day, if you ever talk to me like that again, you're going to see me in front of 40,000 people trying to get after you. That's just not how it's going to go down."
Fielder, who began his 13-year career in 1985 with the Blue Jays, was in Toronto for a team alumni appearance. Nicknamed Big Daddy, Fielder hit 31 homers in parts of four seasons with Toronto and finished with 319 for his career.
The 43-year-old Fielder also talked about steroid use in baseball, suggesting the sport turned a blind eye to drug use for years.
"We all knew," he said. "If we didn't know, we ought to really slap ourselves if we didn't think something was going on in baseball from the commissioner's office on down. Guys were getting too big and too strong, little guys turning into big guys, come on man.
"Baseball was doing so well at that time that everybody was turning away from it and just let it go on until Congress got involved to see what was going down. Come on, more guys have hit 50 since 1990 than in 100 years of baseball. It ain't that easy."
Fielder, who hit 51 homers for the Tigers in 1990, said he never saw direct evidence of steroid use during his time in the majors.
"I didn't see anybody shoot themselves with a needle, but there were a lot of guys that were growing up," he said.